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Submission + - Aereo required to testify about non-public patent info

NewYorkCountryLawyer writes: In ABC v Aereo, a copyright infringement action against Aereo, the Magistrate Judge has overruled Aereo's attorney/client privilege objection to being forced to divulge non-public details about its patented technology. In his 15 page decision (PDF) he ordered the continued deposition of the company's CTO and CEO about their patent applications. My gut reaction is that this sets a very dangerous precedent, giving the big copyright plaintiffs yet another 'in terrorem' device to use against technology startups — the power to use the lawsuit as a chance to delve into a defendant's non-public tech secrets.

Comment Slaying the strawman (Score 2) 871

Duane spends about thirty seconds of his entire lecture talking about why the fifth amendment exists, then the rest of the time saying that if you have it use it because whether you're guilty or innocent you're better off than if you don't. In the supreme court's own words "one of the Fifth Amendment's basic functions ... is to protect innocent men ... who otherwise might be ensnared by ambiguous circumstances." Or as Cardinal Richelieu put it, "Give me six words of an innocent man, and I will find something in them with which to hang him" Your own words contribute nothing to your defense but can easily be used as circumstantial evidence to convict, for example if you know you are innocent but you are a suspect and was very near the scene of the crime but there's no witnesses to that. Are you going to give the jury rope to hang you by or make yourself a felon?

You are already making the "information-less" guilty plea, if you plead not guilty but the court ends up finding you guilty anyway that's sort of saying you were lying. Anything else you're trying to do by compelling the accused is to try to extract information from him that could be used to catch him in a lie about something else. I hope Bennet Haselton gets stuck between a rock and a hard place and get the choice between having to answer true, appear guilty and go to jail or lie, get caught and go to jail. Maybe from his jail cell he can get a new perspective on the meaning and purpose of the fifth amendment.

Comment Re:Welcome to Real Life (Score 4, Insightful) 1144

You know what happens to people in real life when they are laid off, even if temporarily? They find another job. Being a mechanic you'd think he could find some work pretty rapidly if he needed income badly.

How easy is it to find work when - as I understand it - you can be called back to work on a day's notice? Not many employers need an employee that could disappear in a puff of smoke at any time. Of course you could be clearing out a work backlog or something like that, but yeah...

Comment Re:really? (Score 2) 262

I think it's more about playing the stock market, it sounds so much better when you're sold out by slightly undersupplying the market even if it doesn't bring in more sales - perhaps even a bit less as people pick something else instead. "Almost sold out" sounds more like "we really wanted to give you the news that it was sold out but people bought fewer than our lowballed estimates so we're saying they almost sold out" at this point.

Comment Re:Who cares about? (Score 1) 262

That's still not counting the biggest reason it sucked so hard and that was that it had a touchscreen but it wasn't designed to use with your fingers. I had one demonstrated to me and there was hardly anything you could get done without the stylus because the interface required pinpoint precision, which made it more like a laptop with a very awkward mouse. As far as I can recall it wasn't multi-touch either which was fine for the stylus but means you couldn't do pinches and stretches nor fast typing. I remember it had some sort of letter recognition for the stylus but it required a special technique and was still way more awkward than any other text input method. And it was way too expensive for a second device, whereas most current tablet owners haven't thrown out their desktop/laptop.

Comment Re:Rubbish, there's no issue (Score 3, Insightful) 411

There's no use for Tor that is against my interests. None. It's just speech going down wires. You may not like the kiddie diddlers discussing their kiddy diddling, or the terrorists discussing.... well nothing, because terrorists have no reason to use it... but its all just speech. Acts are not speech, people like Clapper pretend that saying things terrorists might say is the same as committing an *act* of terrorism.

Sorry to have to Godwin this thread, but as far as I know Hitler never personally killed a jew. So since acts are not speech, he's a totally innocent guy right? Or can speech be orders, threats, fraud, slander, conspiracy and a host of other illegal things... never mind that bits can be many other things like botnet controls, money (Bitcoins) and so on. I'm assuming you know, since you went out of your way to pretend kiddie diddlers use TOR just for discussion and nothing else. But seriously mods, that's +5 Insightful? More like smoking crack...

Comment Re:You keep using that word. (Score 1) 411

If you use an anonymizing service they'll assume you're non-US until proven otherwise. So they "have to" unmask everybody to know who they're supposed to watch and who they're not supposed to watch. Which of course means they're doing surveillance on everyone, which they didn't really mind in the first place so... convenient.

Comment Re:SteamOS (Score 1) 237

once they start seeing the signs on the wall it will be a simple matter for them to put in a little effort and make "radeon" the best graphics driver for gaming on Linux

Or a lot more work, from what I gather one of the key differences between the radeon driver and the catalyst driver is that they've created a ton of behavior profiles to fit different workloads and they're continuously working to update them and providing even more specific ones tuned to the individual game. That takes a lot of manpower and a rather complicated driver infrastructure, while the open source driver has gone for a much simpler "jack of all trades" acceleration. Last I was really paying attention they were hoping to reach 60-70% performance on average relative to the closed source driver when it was feature complete.

Now remember that there's often a huge gap between software fallback and hardware acceleration, so 60-70% is a lot better than 1% emulating on the CPU. But from the perspective of a GPU buyer that difference between 60-70% and 100% translates to a rather big price difference. If you're not on the bleeding edge and your games aren't straining the graphics card to the fullest of its ability it might not matter, but to a lot of people it will. A lot of other things are like that too, yes it has implemented a form of power management so it doesn't run at full speed all the time. Is it as aggressive and efficient as it could be? Probably not, but again it's more about having it as opposed to not having it at the moment.

Comment Re:Yet Another Einstein Article (Score 1) 195

Now, if you have some proof that the laws of thermodynamics are broken, the second law in particular... please step forward and collect about 50 consecutive Nobel Prizes.

Exhibit A: The Big Bang. Yeah so I'm sort of cheating since it's a total unexplained "phenomenon" if you can call the birth of a universe that but by the laws of thermodynamics as we know them the universe could never have begun. Even if you assume our universe sucked that energy out from somewhere else then that source must have even higher entropy, which must come from a place with even higher entropy and so on. If it's constantly decreasing then we either started at infinity - meaning we could build an infinite power source - or it was created in which case we in theory could create entropy in the same way resulting in an infinite power source. It is not entirely inconceivable to have "miniature Big Bang" generators that pull energy/entropy out of the same source, though I wouldn't have the first clue on how to build one.

That said, perpetual motion is a shyster's tool. If you could really pull off infinite energy production which is the only way to keep it going in perpetuity due to imperfections and most certainly the only way to extract any work from it except just to sit there and be pretty, then you wouldn't need perpetual motion. You'd just have a black block containing your magic with a socket on it and after verifying you're not transferring power into the box via hidden wires, magnetic induction, heat pumps or some other trick you'd be the richest man on earth. The only reason to use perpetual motion is because you can make the losses so negligible it lasts long enough to appear as infinite to the gullible.

Comment Re:AMD is gonna get reamed (Score 1) 187

Whoa, you're right. AMD *is* screwed!

The real question is whether AMD is trying to use this to change gears or not. After all, the PS4 and XBone aren't going to be replaced for many years with something that might or might not be AMD so if they want to exit the performance market and enter the ... well, whatever they're trying to do with APUs and ARM like embedded and microservers and custom hybrids and whatnot then this would be the time. They've bagged the current generation fo consoles, exit stage right. They've been very quiet about any successor to FX-8350 and their server roadmap is more of the current Opterons so well... Kaveri is fine but it's nothing but the current Steamroller cores combined with GCN graphics, as a CPU it's no better than what's already here.

I guess we'll get another indication in two weeks when their Q3 earnings call comes out, the geek in me would like them to succeed but the economist sees very many big red blinkenlights in their last economic reports. People here like to point out how competitive their prices are but the reality is that AMD prices them the way they need to sell, they're losing money now but if they raise prices they lose sales and also lose money. Last time they were royally screwed and losing money they spun off their fabs and got huge external investors in GloFo, this time around they either stand or fall. They desperately need more profitable business and ordinarily I'd say Intel wouldn't squeeze them to bankruptcy but right now Intel is in a duel with ARM and if AMD is stuck in the crossfire, well....

Comment Re:Sure, to lower paying jobs (Score 1) 674

2-3 qualified people making about 2-3 times what the fresh off the street people in India make can resolve about 5 times the cases with better customer satisfaction

Dude, an Indian call center staff gets paid about $300/month or $3600/year. What kind of qualified staff do you expect to find in the US for <$10000/year? Not that it'd be legal to hire anyone at that wage anyway. I'd be surprised if you got anyone with any decent IT skills for less than ten times what an Indian costs and even then they're probably looking to get out of the helldesk and into software development/system administration/project management as soon as possible.

Comment Re:Sure, to lower paying jobs (Score 1) 674

Capitalism requires that increased productivity should cause increased wages. When the 10 Luddites are replaced by a machine (that costs the same as paying 4 Luddites) and 1 Luddite, does the remaining Luddite's pay increase 10 fold, 4 fold, or 2 fold? Where does the money go? This is the riddle of the robot menace, and why Capitalism can't solve the problem by itself.

According to capitalism there's be many robot makers who'd push the prices down to half as it's now costs 4+1 = 5 luddite wages instead of 10 luddite wages to produce while the last 5 wages would stay in the pockets of the customers. And the 4 wages spent on the machine would be spent on luddites to build the machine or by even more layers of indirections, so really no money is lost at all only more is produced with less effort freeing up more people to work on producing value to society. Sorry, you'll have to work a little harder on nailing down your point.

Comment Re:Lower Wages for Gourmet Chefs? (Score 1) 674

The main difference between a socialist and a capitalist is that socialists think you shouldn't be rewarded for investment, only for work, IOW no reward for laziness.

Meh, depends on the brand of socialist. Those that follow "from each according to his ability, to each according to his need" don't put much value on rewarding those who work to the best of their ability nor are they overly concerned with how you ended up needing so much. Marx talked a lot about workers and capitalists, but most of the discussion I find here in Europe is about the middle class versus the welfare state, workers with moderate income and/or wealth that are being taxed heavily to pay for universal services for all. The rich have largely given up getting any public support for their interests and are mostly trying to find ways to dodge taxes and threats to take their money and jobs elsewhere and the socialists hate them because they can't control them.

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